With the sponsorship of UNHCR

Performing: Meitar Ensemble


World premiere: Teatro Comunale “L. Pavarotti” Modena, Italy March 2016

UK premieres: Brighton Festival, Brighton Dome, NEAT Festival, Nottingham Lakeside Centre,May 2016

Israeli premiere: Tel-Aviv Museum, Israeli Music days Festival, September 2017

German premiere: Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen, April 2019


Quintet (piano, viola, cello, bass clarinet, flutes) + live electronics, Mobile Sound theater (32 loudspeakers), visuals (back and frontal screens), crowd music ensemble



“A work of genius which really achieves its objectives in a thought-provoking and stunning show.”
(The Argus daily, UK)

"Of the festival’s many co-commissions, the bravest and most brilliantly conceptualised was undoubtedly Yuval Avital’s Fuga Perpetua (...) With Fuga Perpetua, Yuval Avital does not refrain from showing the internal horror of one who is ‘always running’ – never gratuitous, but visceral and uncompromising in showing a universal experience that no one has the right to shy away from."
(Brighton and Hove Indipendent, UK)

“Fuga Perpetua is a masterful proof of artistic creation”.
(Amadeus Magazine)

"Avital tells in a beautifully poetic and touching manner, the troubled lives of refugees.
(…)Avoiding any pre-established conclusions or messages, Avital delivers to the viewer a new point of reflection through the language of art, which here finds its highest expression and in which the audience is completely immersed. Far from simply aesthetic use, art becomes the means to unite us all. ”


Sample score - Download

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Fuga Perpetua - musical terms meaning ‘always running’ – is a total artwork, combining virtuosic music for ensemble, a dynamic surround-sound installation in constant motion, video projections and a ‘vocal crowd’. The leading storytellers of the work are refugees in Kenya, Israel, Italy and the UK, narrating beyond words, through our senses of hearing and sight, intuition and imagination.

The ‘storytellers’ in Fuga Perpetua are refugees, appearing in the work through projected ‘interviews’ conducted by Avital and collaborators, where individual refugees were asked to relive before the camera significant moments and memories of their lives, both silently and in voice, following a process designed for this project by Avital with the guidance of Prof. Gerald Cupchik (University of Toronto), a specialist in emotions and aesthetic experience.

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The video art made by Avital (as most of the filming) includes also footage specially made for the opera by Andrea Trivero, director of the ‘Pace e Futuro’ NGO, in the refugee camp of Kakuma in Kenya on its border with South Sudan, with the help of Qaabata Boru chief editor of Kakuma News Reflector. Other footage includes film taken by Meitar Ensemble together with ‘Hasimta Athletics’ - an NGO based in Tel Aviv which aims to empower refugees by meaningful athletic activity, mainly running. We are particularly grateful for the support of the video multimedia unit of the UNHCR, which provided numerous audio recordings of interviews of refugees conducted worldwide, as sound and visual recording of refugee camps, refugee boats and travels.

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Some performances of Fuga Perpetua will feature local hosted refugees who will join the performance through movement, sound and gesture, developing elements first prepared in Avital’s Rivers, which was performed in September 2015 with a vocal crowd of refugees at the inauguration ceremony of the Third Paradise Centre by Michelangelo Pistoletto in Biella, Italy.

Finally, the sound installation, a 'Mobile Sound Theatre’, is devised by Yuval Avital and developed by Dr.Tychonas Michailidis (Birmingham Conservatoire). Comprising 25 mobile loudspeakers surrounding, between and underneath the audience, this gives a powerful physical presence to the spatialization of sound in which events appear, move, take on shape and character.

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Fuga Perpetua by Yuval Avital

With the sponsorship of UNHCR and of the International Theatre Institute, UNESCO

Performed by Ensemble Meitar:
Amit Dolberg - Piano, artistic direction, Yoni Gotlibovitch - Cello, Moshe Aharonov - Viola, Gilad Harel - Bass clarinet, Hagar Shahal - Flutes

Sound direction and ‘Mobile Sound Theater’ developer - Tychonas Michalidis
Video post production and light - Michele Innocente
Scientific advisor - Gerald C. Cupchik, University of Toronto!
Additional filming in Kenya - Andrea Trivero
Coordination filming in Kenya - Qaabata Boru
Additional filming in Israel - Yoav Ruda (Hasimta Athletics runners)!
Coordination of interviews in Israel - Ensemble Meitar
Additional video and audio contributes by UNHCR
Production: Magà Global Arts (Italy), Third Ear - Ed McKeon (UK)!
in co-production with Teatro Comunale “L. Pavarotti” Modena, Italy, Brighton Festival, Nottingham Lakeside Arts Centre

Commission: Ensemble Meitar & Third Ear
With the sustain of England Arts Council, Arts & Humanities Research Council
Under the endorsement of the International Theatre Institute, Unesco
In collaboration with Pacefuturo Onlus (Italy), Birmingham Conservatoire (UK), Integra (UK), KANERE - Kakuma News Reflector (Kenya), Hasimta Athletics (Israel), Municipality of Milan department of social politics.

We thank: Carlotta Sami & Barbara Molinario (UNHCR Italy), Edith Champagne & Médéric Droz-dit-Busset (UNHCR Video unit Geneva), Duke Mwancha (UNHCR Kenya), Dianne Skerritt, Rainbow Project, Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.